USDA Employee Under Investigation for Photos of Ensnared Coyotes

The Casper Star-Tribune reports that Jamie Olson, an employee with the Wyoming Wildlife Services, posted this picture to his personal Facebook of an ensnared coyote being taunted by a dog. Additional images were posted of a dead coyote, prompting an investigation. (Photo courtesy of trib.com)
The Casper Star-Tribune reports that Jamie Olson, an employee with the Wyoming Wildlife Services, posted this picture to his personal Facebook of an ensnared coyote being taunted by a dog. Additional images were posted of a dead coyote, prompting an investigation. (Photo courtesy of trib.com)

A man who traps and removes predators threatening wildlife for the USDA is under investigation for some Facebook photos he posted showing trapped coyotes - some alive some possibly dead - that appear to have been taunted by dogs. Sheridan Media's Chris Foy reports.


The photos in question were posted by an employee of Wyoming Wildlife Services, a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Carol Bannerman, a spokesperson for the Wildlife Services, told the Casper Star-Tribune that someone outside the agency prompted the investigation by bringing the photos to its attention on October 30.

Leah Starr with the Star-Tribune writes that Jamie Olson posted photos of dogs barking at, pouncing on and biting coyotes and other predators while they were trapped in steel leg snares. In some of the photos he allegedly posted to a personal Facebook album entitled "work," the predators were either visibly alive or possibly dead.

Olson's Facebook page has since been deactivated. Environmentalists who've been critical of the federal government's anti-predator program are in an uproar over the images.

Assigned to eastern Wyoming, Olson remains on the job during the investigation. Investigators are looking in to whether the photos were taken on the job and if they were taken inside the state.

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